Europe needs a recovery fund, but it is important the fund comes coupled with structural reforms, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday ahead of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Rutte, in Berlin for a working dinner with Merkel, is seen as the leader of the “Frugal Four” countries who look with more scepticism at a Franco-German proposal for a large European fund to help the entire bloc recover from the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday that differences remained over both a recovery fund and a long-term budget for the European Union and that significant changes to the proposals were needed for an agreement to be reached.
“We have not reached an agreement today, nor were we planning to,” he told a news conference shortly after participating in a virtual EU summit.
“We continue to stand fairly far from each other. All in all, big improvements are needed before both the long-term budget and the recovery fund (plans) are good enough.”